Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Games Not To Play: Silent Hill: Shattered Memories

Seriously, what the bitch did I just waste my time with? Anyone familiar with the "Silent Hill" franchise knows that the games are intentionally made to perform twisting mindfucks that throw the player off in any way possible, even if it means breaking what seems like reality to do it. Basically, an attempted interactive nightmare. I'm cool with that sometimes.

Sometimes. Not every single god damn time. I don't really follow the series too closely, mainly because it just looks like the same game 7 times in a row. This one, however, offered even less than that. The whole time you're playing, you're supposed to believe that the game learns about you psychologically, and then integrates gameplay based off of choices you've made to make it "the ultimate nightmare." Not once did I see any of that. The whole time you just run around being chased by the same monsters over and over again, and then just look for shit in the dark. That's it. The whole game. The plot's a little more intricate than that, but honestly, the story itself is such cocksuck that it blows, much like the rest of the game.

Harry Mason and his 7-year old daughter get in a car crash. Harry rolls out of the driver's seat, and when he comes to, he notices Cheryl's gone. He then runs into the town of Silent Hill looking everywhere for her, and he rarely crosses people to help him due to a snow storm that forces everyone to take shelter at home. Along the way, Harry receives strange phone calls and messages on his cellphone, and then the town freezes in ice, and he is chased by monsters, otherwise known as "nightmares." When day breaks or some shit, the ice goes away, and the monsters no longer chase him. Slowly Harry realizes that Cheryl is getting increasingly distant, and has somehow grown up. I'm not going to explain the whole thing, because it would be a waste of time to do so (lol, "waste of time," says the guy writing a review). Also in various segments, a psychologist reviews you about the incidents, and he asks you to do certain things that will evaluate you mentally so that the game can be more relative to your personality.

The plot is, to say the least, weird. I understand that's the whole point, but it becomes so abstract that it's impossible to make sense of it. Usually you need logical answers as to why things happen, BUT I GUESS NOT IN THIS CASE. Turns out Harry's a ghost, but somehow people are able to communicate to him and physically interact with him. Since this is true, why doesn't Harry tell them about all the shit that's been happening, and the "nightmares" that keep chasing him? I don't know about anyone else, but if I were being chased by naked monsters without faces and everything turns into ice and blocks my path, I wouldn't hesitate to ask for a little clarification. I'm sure this isn't what Harry does all the time. I've never heard of anyone who just took a paranormal incident as a given and walked it off without telling anyone about it.

Oh, and it's for the Wii. Yeah, you're supposed to be convinced that you're in the game because you have to shine a flashlight around and pick up objects and shit. Horror games that are interactive with the player bother me. It's not MY story. It's the character's. I want to believe I'm the character in the game, but if the game starts psychologically analyzing me, at least use the info given to present me with something to be scared about. It's just monsters and item finding, and then subtle references from the psychiatrist sessions. For a game that claims it takes your personality and uses it to make new situations, it sure doesn't cut it.

That's the warning label it gives you at the beginning. It's implying the game has the ability to read into your fears and create situations based off of those fears. Not only does this warning flat-out lie to you, it's only there to draw your attention in and make you feel like you're actually being "played by the game itself." That sons my bitch. It's like when movies use the line "based on true events." It's not a REAL event. It's loosely tied to something that happened, but isn't fully parallel to the actual event it's based on. "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" was supposed to be based on Edward Gein, the man who killed, dismembered, and displayed his victims like furniture. Ed wasn't a chainsaw-wielding retard; the chainsaw was put in to make the movie more interesting. So, just like that, when you see this warning for the game, it's automatically telling you, "Guess what, this isn't 100% true. Only about 20% of this message is relevant to what's going to happen in the game. Just thought I'd tell you that so it will scare you."

So play it or don't, your choice. Silent Hill can only be so creative.

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